Reader Donald Frame writes:
The topic of what to do with your gun when you’re not shooting it isn’t going away. Here’s a recap of recent doings on TTAG: Robert Farago doesn’t like off body carry. Massad Ayoob had a little video clip describing off-body options and drawbacks, and I got the sense he wasn’t that crazy about off-body carry. Johannes Paulsen doesn’t like off-body carry and recently chided someone for locking his gun up in his motel room from whence an employee stole it. Recently he got after an FBI agent whose sniper rifle was stolen for not taking it into his hotel room. I’m not sure what to make of that. The poor fibbie had the thing locked in a box. Seems like an adequate effort on the face of it. Lots believe a gun is either on your hip or in your safe…that’s it . . .
Let’s stipulate straight away that a gun in your safe is safer from theft than one sitting on your porch, or on the dashboard of your unlocked car. A gun on your hip may be safer than one in your briefcase. And a gun with a spiked barrel, no ammo and a busted trigger may be the safest gun of all.
Let’s all take a deep breath and stipulate something: there is no way to assure that your guns are completely inaccessible to unauthorized people. If man can make it, man can break it and no matter how tough you are, there’s always someone tougher. There’s no such thing as maintaining absolute control of your weapon.
So what’s reasonable? Noted gun control org, Bloomberg United Liberals Lamenting Citizen’s Real Actual Protection, has taught us that facts are completely unnecessary when deciding what ought to be done in terms of firearms or safety. Guns are scary and that’s really all you need to know.
We, the People of the Gun, know that’s silly (to be kind) and therefore I am certain that such eminences as Johannes and Robert have loads of data at their fingertips that reveal the terrible problems associated with off-body carry and inadequate gun storage.
Now let’s stir in some context, which may get interesting. I carry a pistol in a briefcase (not pictured above) a lot. Nearly all the time, in fact. If someone steals that from me, I’m an incompetent moron for putting the world at risk with my carelessness. If someone steals my car keys and then my truck, I’m just another unfortunate crime victim.
If the pistol is scary, the truck is terrifying! Just imagine 7500 caliber with 33 million grains at 73 feet per second! That’s 476,000 foot-pounds of energy and a Taylor Knockout Factor of 26.3 million, enough for 175,200 elephants with some cape buffalo left over. That makes a .45 look like a kiss from your mother.
What’s the difference?
Life is filled with scary stuff. Going in the house to augment my caffeine dose, I spied my chainsaw right there in the open. Imagine the awful potential. It would take my disabled mom only a couple of minutes to break into my garage. The average bad guy could do it in seconds. Then he’d have the chainsaw and nothing would ever be the same.
Right there next to the chain saw is the Sawzall I bought last week for a measly $39 at the local pawn shop. No ID check or anything. That’d cause some serious mayhem if I was so inclined.
My medicine cabinet is filled with toxic substances. If my 10-year-old decided to down a bottle of any of it, we’d be looking for a new 10-year-old. Scary stuff. And then there’s my drill! It’d go right through any selected body part like a knife through butter.
Come to think of it, I just used that drill to build an arrow tube for backyard archery. That brings to mind the authoritative WHACK my measly 25-pound recurve can put on a cardboard box with a cheap arrow…frightening.
Five minutes spent on the internet will teach you how to make a microwave bomb from common household stuff. Need I go on?
Here’s the thing…just about everyone has more or less unfettered access to all sorts of dangerous implements, many of which are more dangerous than guns. Still, nothing much happens from one day to the next. I’ve worked in an ER for 15 years and counting, and have yet to see anyone shot by a victim’s gun. Does it happen? Sure. Is it common? Not so much.
Granted, the less the secure the storage or carry method, the higher the risk. But without any data, how can one decide what amount of risk is acceptable? And who ought to decide? Could this be left up to free people, without continuous second-guessing from the TTAG crowd?
RF and JP are, of course, welcome to their opinions. I, however, am unconvinced as yet. I’ll freely admit that briefcase carry is less secure than a holster on my hip, but I doubt it’s enough to matter. If my gun is stolen, I’ll let the bad guy feel guilty. I won’t.
Sumbitches shouldn’t steal. I’m not going to take my shotgun into the steakhouse after dove hunting, and I’m not going to skip the steak, either. My smoothbore will be in the truck if you really want it. If this bothers RF, I’ll invite him along for my next trip. He can stay outside and watch the guns, and I’ll bring him a doggy bag. Then we’ll both be happy!